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Karumba

The Gulf Savannah is an interesting region to visit all year, however during the monsoon season, transportation methods must be carefully considered, as some parts of the Gulf Savannah region suffer from a lack of road infrastructure.

Karumba is situated on the mouth of the Norman River and is the centre of the Gulf’s prawning industry. Surrounding environ is flat wetlands which extend inland for approximately 30 kilometres. Wetlands are a series of meandering saltwater tidal estuaries, habitat for saltwater crocodiles and vast array of bird species, such as pelicans, cyrus cranes, brolgas and black swans.

Distance From Brisbane (State Capital) via Cairns is 2,501 kilometres or via Mount Isa is 2,382 kilometres.

Activites and Experiences at Karumba

  • Off Road Driving There are 79 kilometres of sealed roads to Normanton. Other 4WD off road areas lay to the north and south. Hire 4WD vehicles and book tours at the information centre at the airport kiosk in Karumba.
  • Art and Craft making Mondays and Thursdays, craft sessions are held at the town park. art supply stores are located in town.
  • Birdwatching Karumba is a birdwatching paradise. Tours are available in the area. For more information, contact your local tourist agency or the information centre at the Airport Kiosk in Karumba.
  • Camping Camping and caravan parks with affordable and comfortable amenities are located in and around town.
  • Crabbing Mudcrabs can be netted within the Normanton River outlet and fishing tours are available.
  • Farm/Station activity Visit a local cattle station and learn how they operate. For more information contact the Airport kiosk in Karumba.
  • Fishing – Beach Beach fishing tours are available. Bring your own equipment or hire from local Karumba outlets.
  • Fishing – Estuary Estuary fishing tours are available. Bring your own equipment or hire from local Karumba outlets.
  • Fishing – Trout/Fly Trout/Fly Fly fishing tours are available. Bring your own equipment or hire from local Karumba outlets.
  • Fishing – Game Full and half day game fishing charters are available. Bring your own equipment or hire from local Karumba outlets. Sweers Island is a popular fishing area just off the coast. Reef fish abound in the local waters. Sweetlip, cod, coral trout, parrotfish, stripeys, red emperor and sea perch are some tasty examples.
  • Fishing – Deep Sea Deep Sea Full and half day deep sea fishing charters are available. Bring your own equipment or hire from local Karumba outlets. Sweers Island is a popular fishing area just off the coast. Reef fish abound in the local waters. Sweetlip, cod, coral trout, parrotfish, stripeys, red emperor and sea perch are some tasty examples.
  • Flora Many varieties of flora abound the area. To find out more, why not book a tour with an experienced guide from the information centre at the Airport kiosk in Karumba.
  • Gambling The local taverns have poker machines, keno and tab facilities.
  • Game Playing The local multipurpose sports stadium conducts a variety of community and team sports for your pleasure.
  • Art Painting Mondays and Thursday craft sessions are held at the town park. Art supply stores are located in town.
  • Sailing Sailing charters are popular and available from local Karumba outlets. There are two boat ramps on the Norman River and beach area for launching of boats.
  • Scenic Flight Scenic air and helicopter flights can be chartered from the airport in Karumba.
  • Sightseeing See the Barramundi Restocking Farm, take a scenic flight, board a river cruise for some croc spotting, catch a few fish during a fishing charter, meander around town and dine at restaurants and cafes. There is a lot to do. For more information, contact your local tourist agency or the information centre at the Airport Kiosk in Karumba.
  • Snorkelling Diving tours can be booked locally. For more information, contact your local tourist agency or the information centre at the Airport Kiosk in Karumba.
  • Sports Participate The local multipurpose sports stadium runs a variety of community and team sports for your pleasure.
  • Tennis Tennis courts may be available at some accommodation sites in Karumba.
  • Train Ride The nearest railway service is at Normanton. Gulflander rail tours between Normanton and Croydon run regularly through the week.
  • Bush Tucker Experienced Savannah guides run tours in the local area. For more information, contact your local tourist agency or the information centre at the airport kiosk in Karumba.
  • Animal Viewing Local and experienced guides run tours to search out and see native species in the wild. For more information, contact the information centre at the airport kiosk in Karumba.
  • Marine Animal watching Marine animals may be seen on Fishing charters that can be booked in the local Karumba area. For more information contact the airport kiosk information centre.
  • Walking Take a walk and meander at a leisurely pace around town or book a tour with an experienced Savannah guide in the local area. For more information, contact the information centre at the airport kiosk in Karumba.
  • Accommodation Comfortable and affordable holiday cabins, tourist caravan and camping parks are readily available in Karumba.
  • Airport A fully serviced airstrip for light aircraft is located on the south side of Karumba. Daily flights to Cairns and surrounding Savannah districts are available. The nearest domestic and international airport is Cairns. The local airport doubles as the information centre located at the kiosk.
  • Ambulance The QLD ambulance service is located in Karumba. The Flying Doctor service also operates in the region. For emergencies call ‘000’.
  • Banking Facilities Limited banking facilities are available in Karumba. Eftpos and Credit Card facilities are available from most business outlets.
  • Beach Shelley Beach runs along the Norman River where Karumba is located. There are also beaches located south of the mouth of the Norman River in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • Boat Ramp There are two boat ramps located along the north and south ends of the Shelley beach in Karumba.
  • Bottled Gas Bottled gas is available from various outlets in Karumba.
  • Chemist There are pharmaceutical services available in Karumba.
  • Licensed Club A number of licensed clubs are located in Karumba. Meals and refreshments are available.
  • Convention Centre Karumba has a civic centre where administrative business is conducted and cultural events are held.
  • Currency Exchange Limited banking facilities are available in Karumba. Currency exchange is available from banking outlets.
  • Dentist Dental services are available at the health centre in Karumba. The centre is open weekdays and weekends for emergencies only.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale Eftpos is usually available from most business outlets in Karumba.
  • Fuel Fuel, LPG, as well as motor and marine oils are available at the local depot. Open weekday and on Saturday morning. An RACQ agent is also located in Karumba.
  • Golf The local golf club serves lunch, dinner and refreshments.
  • Hospital A health clinic operates in Karumba during weekdays and for emergencies on weekends. Surgical and medical services are located at Normanton.
  • Public Bar The local tavern serves lunch and dinner with evening entertainment available.
  • Mechanical Services An RACQ agent is located in Karumba as well as a number of Automotive repair workshops.
  • Medical Facilities A health clinic operates in Karumba during weekdays and for emergencies on weekends. More substantial medical services are located at Normanton.
  • National Park The nearest national parks are Lawn Hill to the west and Staatan River to the north east. For more information contact a National Parks and Wildlife centre or the Airport information centre.
  • Newsagent Newsagency supplies can be purchased at a number of outlets including the supermarket, service station and general store at Karumba Point.
  • Police The police station is located in the centre of Karumba. The volunteer Fire Brigade and Marine Rescue are also located in Karumba. For emergencies call ‘000’.
  • Post Office For all your postal needs and souvenirs, Australia Post has an office in Karumba.
  • Public Telephone Public phones are located at the corner of Fielding and Karumba Point Roads in Karumba. Public toilets are also located in the Allen Howie Way and on Walker Street.
  • Rail Terminal The nearest rail terminal is at Normanton.
  • Restaurant Karumba has some wonderful cafes and restaurants to try.
  • Sporting Facilities The local multipurpose sports stadium runs a variety of community and team sports for your pleasure.
  • Supermarket Supermarket outlets are located in Karumba and a general store is located at Karumba Point.
  • Swimming Pool Contact the Karumba State School. Some accommodation venues have swimming pools on site.
  • Takeaway Food Takeaway food outlets are located in Karumba and a general store is located at Karumba Point.
  • Tennis Court Contact the Karumba State School. The sports centre also has tennis facilities.
  • Visitor Centres The kiosk at the Airport doubles as the local information centre in Karumba.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander The Torres Strait Festival held annually on Thursday Island and the Laura Dance and Cultural Festival held biannually in June represent 25 Aboriginal communities from all over Cape York. Local experienced guides can also arrange for tours to learn about the region from an aboriginal cultural perspective.
  • Fishing Fishing is one of the major economies and pastimes in Karumba. Bring your own equipment or hire from local Karumba outlets. Fishing tours and charters are also available for beach, estuary, Big Game and Deep Sea fishing experiences. Reef fish abound in the local waters. Sweetlip, cod, coral trout, parrotfish, stripeys, red emperor and sea perch are some tasty examples. Barramundi Restocking farm also holds guided tours.
  • Gambling The licensed Golf club, the Recreational club and the local taverns all have gaming facilities.
  • Golf Enjoy a game of golf and relax in the club after over lunch, dinner and refreshments.
  • Historic/Heritage This lively town marks the end of the Matilda Highway and was once a refuelling an repair stop for the great Empire flying boats which connected Sydney to Great Britain. These large airships landed on the stretch of the river in front of the town. This route during the war, was the only aerial connection Australia had with the rest of the world. Catalina Flying naval amphibian craft would use Karumba as a base. For information of the history of Karumba contact the information centre at the Airport.
  • Industry/Mining, Agriculture Barramundi, Prawning, cattle and mining are the main economies in this area. Tourism is also a growing industry. Karumba is the only port accessible by sealed roads in the gulf. As such for the region freights cargo from surrounding areas to other ports by barge and ship.
  • Marine Fishing is one of the major economies and pastimes in Karumba. Bring your own equipment or hire from local Karumba outlets. Fishing tours and charters are also available for beach, estuary, Big Game and Deep Sea fishing experiences. Barramundi Restocking Hatchery farm also holds guided tours.
  • Off road There are 79 kilometres of sealed roads to Normanton. Other 4WD off road areas lay to the north and south. Hire 4WD vehicles and book tours at the information centre at the airport kiosk in Karumba. The nearest town is Normanton. Travelling north, south, east or west will take you into vast outback areas of Australia.
  • Remote Karumba is the only port accessible by sealed roads in the gulf. As such, it is quite a small remote seaside village located away from the rest of Australia. It does however have ample accommodation and services as well as accessible transport connections via barge, air and road. Rail services are available from Normanton, 79 kilometres away.
  • World Heritage Karumba is part the Gulf of Carpentaria which became World Heritage Listed in 1995. It’s vast area of 900,000 hectares, covers Savannah areas to coastal environments with a wide variety of rare flora and fauna. For information, chat to the locals and National Parks and Wildlife. Contact your local tourist agency and book a trip to visit and see it for yourself.
  • RTN, QH and National Distributors (TQ)

Nearest Airport: Cairns

Accommodation In Karumba

Discover some of the accommodation in and around Karumba

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